A woman was hit by a truck after she stepped out of a stalled car this week. The tragedy occurred in Tustin after the driver’s car malfunctioned and she got out to check on it. The woman was subsequently struck twice by the same truck and the chain reaction culminated in other vehicle collisions.
At the end of the day, one has to ask, could such an tragic accident been avoided?
Investigators on the accident scene said the woman, a 25-year-old Santa Ana resident named Magdalena Wojciechowska, was traveling southbound on the 55 freeway just north of Santa Clara Avenue when her 1991 Volvo stalled out at around 9:56 p.m. She allegedly got out of the vehicle and was standing in the far left lane of the freeway when she was approached by a pick up truck.
32-year-old Richard Viramontes from Long beach was driving a Toyota Tacoma when he saw the stopped car ahead. He tried to switch lanes to avoid the Volvo but instead but instead ended up hitting the pedestrian who was thrown into the air. She was struck by the truck a second time after she came down.
47-year-old Sandra Herrera of Tustin, crashed her Ford Escort into the stopped Volvo shortly after the accident pushing the Volvo toward the right shoulder of the freeway before it burst into flames. A fourth car, driven by Bertha Davis, 55, then hit the back of the Escort.
Firefighters an paramedics arrived on the scene and found the other motorists largely unhurt with minor injuries. Magdalena Wojciechowska had CPR performed on her and was later rushed to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana where she was pronounced dead.
The other drivers were taken to the same medical center be treated as a safety precaution.
Highway safety in and out of the car
The actual car accident may have been unavoidable, but there is a possibility that something the young lady in the Volvo could have done to mitigate risks of injury and save her life altogether.
For instance, many people exit from the driver side door to check their cars out when they stall. Although it may seemed like a chore, it is best to crawl towards the passenger side and get out that way. Also, when pulling over onto an emergency road or shoulder try your best to get away from the stream of traffic… the further away you are the less likely you will be struck by an oncoming vehicle.
Still, when all is said and done, there may have been very little the woman could have done to stave off disaster.
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